Her frail body weighed no more than my seven year old petite frame, yet she was the strongest woman I’ve ever known. She taught me more about the importance of persistence, faith, and Christ-like love not by her words, but by her life.
My mother’s best friend, Pat Mosley, was the first to befriend my mother after she moved from New Zealand, to the vastly different culture of the United States. After I was born, this Godly woman and friend was the first spiritual mother I was ever blessed to know. She is one of the few I’ve met who truly lived her faith and walked her talk.
She could be found in the front church pew or in the choir loft every time the church doors were open. A childhood bout with polio contorted her spine so each of her ribs could be felt when she offered a warm hug–but her smile always remained intact and visible from afar.
If anyone had justifiable reason to frown, it would have been Mrs. Mosley. Polio not only disfigured her physical body, but left her susceptible to any cold or illness that blew in with the blustery Michigan winters. By her 30’s and 40’s, her physicians cautioned her to stay away from public gatherings where contamination could threaten her health, as she was more susceptible to annual pneumonia with significantly delayed recovery.
Polio left her unable to bear children of her own yet she mothered many as an elementary school teacher until her compromised lungs and immune system could no longer weather the coughs and sneezes of innocent children. Even so, in over 20 years, I never once heard her complain. Truly the joy of the Lord was her strength.
Widowed in her early 40’s, she never lost her joy. Even when she became physically incapacitated and required a live-in caregiver in what should have been the prime of her life, she refused to focus on what she didn’t have or couldn’t do, and saw it as an opportunity to share God’s love and witness to whomever God brought into her home.
Despite her many physical trials, she kept her eyes focused on Jesus. Although slower and weaker than all those who met her, she continued putting one foot in front of the other and “racing” forward to the prize set before her. Her eyes always glistened with the calm love of Jesus as she encouraged others in their faith walk.
Today Mrs. Mosley and my mother are dancing pain-free with Jesus in heaven. I pray I have even a small portion of the positive impact on others’ faith that she had on mine.